Iola Melissa Fernandes Duarte
  Principal Researcher  
  phone: 234 401 418  
  extension: 24 918  
  department: Chemistry  
  office: 29.3.31  
  group: 5 - biomedical and biomimetic materials
  line: 3 - sustainability and health
isi web of knowledgeSM search factor: Author=((duarte i*) not (duarte iven) not (duarte isabel) not (duarte IMR) not rinke) AND Address=(aveiro)  
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Short CV

Researcher ID:


Iola F. Duarte is a Principal Researcher at CICECO - Aveiro Institute of Materials, Department of Chemistry, University of Aveiro (UA), since April 2015 (IF FCT programme). She has a first degree in Biochemistry & Food Chemistry (1997), and a PhD in Chemistry (2003) from the University of Aveiro, having worked as a post-doctoral fellow in a joint project between CICECO/UA and Imperial College of London (2003-2006).

IF Duarte’s major domain of specialization is in the use of advanced analytical techniques for comprehensive metabolic profiling (metabolomics) of biological samples (cells, tissues and biofluids) and the study of metabolism changes as a function of external stimuli (e.g. exposure to drugs, nanoparticles, biomaterials) or pathophysiological alteration. Presently, her main research projects address the in vitro and in vivo metabolic responses to different drugs, nanoparticles and biomaterials, with emphasis on anticancer and anti-inflammatory (nano)medicines, metabolic immunomodulation and nanotoxicology research.

She has published 9 book chapters, 60 papers and 12 abstracts in SCI peer-reviewed journals (> 1600 non-self citations, h-index 26), and presented over 50 oral communications in conferences, including 22 invited lectures. In 2007, IF Duarte was awarded the Prize L’Oréal PT for Women in Science and, in 2010, she was the recipient of the Portuguese League Against Cancer grant.

Scientific Interests

- Toxicity and biological assessment of (nano)materials with biomedical applications;

- Metabolism of immune cells and metabolic immunomodulation;

- Metabolism of tumour cells and metabolic effects of anticancer therapies (drugs, nanomedicines, photothermal therapy);

- NMR spectroscopy and metabolomics.

Present Research Group

Post-doctoral associates: Mónica Cicuéndez and Helena Oliveira

PhD students: Ângela Guerra and Diana Belchior

Main present collaborators


- Dr. Fátima Duarte, Centro de Biotecnologia Agrícola e Agro-Alimentar do Baixo Alentejo e Litoral (CEBAL), Beja.

- Dr. Maria Luísa Corvo, Faculdade de Farmácia, Universidade de Lisboa (FFUL).

- Dr. Rita Fior, Fundação Champalimaud, Lisboa


- Dr. Philipp Seib, Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences (SIPBS), University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK.

- Dr. María Jesus Vicent, Centro de Investigación Príncipe Felipe, Valencia, Spain.

- Dr. M. Teresa Portolés and Dr. María Vallet-Regí, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain.

- Prof. Ruth Duncan, Professor Emerita Cardiff University, UK.

Teaching Activity

Proteómica e Metabolómica, MSc Courses in Biochemistry and Biotechnology, UA.

Química Macromolecular, MSc Course in Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, UA.

Nutrição e Dietética, First Degree in Gerontology, Health School, UA.

Laboratório MH1, First Degree in Biomedical Sciences, Health Sciences Department, UA.

Bioquímica I, First Degrees in Biochemistry and Biotechnology, Department of Chemistry, UA.

R&D projects

Principal Investigator (PI)

- Impact of silk-based nanomedicines on the cellular metabolome, Ref. 12101 DD1720 RDF - Grant 1715, 2015-2018, financing program: Research and Development Grant from the University of Strathclyde.

- Metabolic profiling: a novel tool for evaluation of the toxicological and biological effects of nanomaterials, Ref. PTDC/SAU-TOX/120953/2010, 2012-2015, financing program: FEDER through COMPETE and national funds through FCT.

- Metabolic profiling and biochemical differentiation of human lung tumours by Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) methods, Ref. PTDC/QUI/68017/2006, 2008-2011, financing program: FEDER through COMPETE and national funds through FCT.

- Metabolomic study of lung cancer: metabolic signatures in tissues and biofluids, Ref. CIMAGO 04/12, 2012-2014, funding CIMAGO, Faculty of Medicine of Coimbra (FMUC), PT.

- Development of new methods to diagnose and monitor lung cancer based on metabolomic signatures, 2011-2012, funding Portuguese League Against Cancer.

- Investigation of tumour biochemistry and metabolic biomarkers in tissues, cells and biofluids, 2008-2011, funding L’Oréal PT, FCT, UNESCO National Committee.

- Biochemical characterisation of stomach, endometrial and lung tumour tissues by High Resolution Magic Angle Spinning (HRMAS) Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, Ref. CIMAGO 14/06, 2006-2009, funding CIMAGO (FMUC), PT.

 Team member

- TEAMING Grant agreement No 739572 - The Discoveries CTR, European Union Framework Programme for Research and Innovation HORIZON 2020.

- Future asthma management helped by non-invasive sampling:  contributes for the definition of a rapid and non-invasive diagnostic tool, Ref. PTDC/QUI-QUI/117803/2010, 2012-2015, funding FCT, PT.

- New Valorization Strategies for Eucalyptus spp. Bark Extracts, Ref. PTDC/AGR-FOR/3187/2012, 2013-2015, funding FCT, PT.

- Biomaterials for Regenerative Medicine, Ref. SCT-2011-02-030-4872, 2012-2015, funding PORC-MaisCentro.

- Search for new markers of therapy response in lung cancer, Ref. CIMAGO 03/12, 2012-2014, funding CIMAGO (FMUC), PT.

- A Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR)-based metabonomic study of health disorders of fetus and mother during pregnancy: towards biochemical characterisation and early diagnostics, Ref. PTDC/QUI/66523/2006, 2008-2011, funding FCT, PT.

- Implantable scaffolds for local osteossarcoma chemotherapy, Ref. PTDC/SAU-BEB/66896/2006, 2007-2010, funding FCT, PT.

Selected Publications

Arminan A, Mendes L, Carrola J, Movellan J, Vicent MJ, Duarte IF. HIF-1a inhibition by diethylstilbestrol and its polyacetal conjugate in hypoxic prostate tumour cells: Insights from NMR metabolomics. Journal of Drug Targeting 2017, 25, 845-855.

Jarak I, Carrola J, Barros AS, Gil AM, Pereira ML, Corvo ML, Duarte IF. Metabolism modulation in different organs by silver nanoparticles: an NMR metabolomics study of a mouse model. Toxicological Sciences 2017, 159, 422–435. 

Saborano R, Wongpinyochit T, Totten JD, Johnston BF, Seib FP, Duarte IF. Metabolic reprogramming of macrophages exposed to silk, poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) and silica nanoparticles. Advanced Healthcare Materials 2017, 6, 1601240.

Lamego I, Marques MPM, Duarte IF, Martins AS, Oliveira H, Gil AM. Impact of the Pd2Spermine Chelate on Osteosarcoma Metabolism: An NMR Metabolomics Study. Journal of Proteome Research 2017, 16, 1773–1783.

Carrola J, Bastos V, Jarak I, Oliveira-Silva R, Malheiro E, Daniel-da-Silva AL, Oliveira H, Santos C, Gil AM, Duarte IF. Metabolomics of silver nanoparticles toxicity in HaCaT cells: structure–activity relationships and role of ionic silver and oxidative stress. Nanotoxicology 2016, 10, 1105-1117.

Guerra AR, Duarte IF, Duarte MF. Role of Isoprenoid Compounds on Angiogenic Regulation: Opportunities and Challenges. Current Medicinal Chemistry 2016, 23, 9, 911-928.

Ferreira NGC, Saborano R, Morgado R, Cardoso DN, Rocha CM, Soares AMVM, Loureiro S, Duarte IF. Metabolic responses of the isopod Porcellionides pruinosus to nickel exposure assessed by 1H NMR metabolomics. Journal of Proteomics 2016, 137, 59-97.

Rocha CM, Barros AS, Goodfellow BJ, Carreira IM, Gomes A, Sousa V, Bernardo J, Carvalho L, Gil AM, Duarte IF. NMR metabolomics of human lung tumours reveals distinct metabolic signatures for adenocarcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. Carcinogenesis 2015, 36(1), 68-75.

Duarte IF, Diaz SO, Gil AM. NMR metabolomics of human blood and urine in disease research. Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis 2014, 93, 17-26.

Duarte IF, Ladeirinha A, Lamego I, Gil AM, Carvalho L, Carreira IM, Melo JB. Potential markers of cisplatin treatment response unveiled by NMR metabolomics of human lung cells. Molecular Pharmaceutics 2013, 10 (11), 4242–4251.

Duarte IF, Rocha CM, Gil AM. Metabolic profiling of biofluids: potential in lung cancer screening and diagnosis. Expert Review of Molecular Diagnostics 2013, 13 (7), 737-48. 

Duarte IF, Gil AM. Metabolic signatures of cancer unveiled by NMR spectroscopy of human biofluids. Progress in Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy 2012, 51-74.


ongoing scientific supervisions